Being a trainee

The intake weekend concludes with an interview, conducted by the Patrol Captain and Training Officers. This interview is intended to ensure that prospective trainees have a clear understanding of the expectations and process of Traineeship.  If successful as a candidate you will be offered a place in the Trainee group that will start their traineeship at the beginning of the following season.

As a trainee you are identified with trainee uniform, and be allocated each day on the hill with a designated registered patroller. In many ways a Traineeship is like an apprenticeship where you will learn by following, watching and increasingly, doing.

Your aim as a trainee is to learn as much as possible and finish your tickets as you go.

Your ticket book is a progress meter of your learning on your path to becoming a probationary patroller. This covers everything to make you a well rounded and educated patroller. Akja and sled running skills, mountain knowledge, surgery procedures and first aid are some of the categories where you will receive instruction from some of the most experienced patrollers in the world.

You are also required to take the ASPA emergency first aid course in your time as a trainee, this is a 7 days emergency care course – more details can be found at the Australian Ski Patrol Association website.

Starting at the beginning of a season, it is generally expected that a trainee can complete the requirements in 20-30 days on hill.

The trainee Exam

Once your ticket book has been completed you can be invited to take the Trainee exam.

This consists of 2 parts

  1. Mountain Knowledge
  2. Akja test

The mountain knowledge test is a written and multiple choice test that is designed to help you demonstrate your knowledge of features, runs and equipment locations on the hill.

The Akja test is a simulated run with a loaded Akja the entire length of the hill, you are run twice – once as the front patroller, and once as the rear patroller.


Through the entire training period, a trainee is continually being evaluated and given feedback by the Patrollers they spend time with.  After successful completion of the Ticket book, the written Mountain Knowledge exam and the practical Akja test, each Trainee is individually assessed by the TSPA Committee for consideration as a Probationary Patroller.  A successful trainee will have demonstrated character, aptitude, teamwork and social skills needed for Patrolling, in addition to the technical skiing or boarding and first aid skills and knowledge covered in the training programme.